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MAKESHOP in the park

It is summer and that means that we are able to move some of our MAKESHOP activities outside. Last year we had a bike-cart that some of the staff would take out to the local parks to do small activities with the community. This year we got the opportunity to provide an outdoor activity for a weekend event Buhl Park in front of the Museum. I recently discovered a water rocket launching kit in our basement storage. We
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Baking as Making

A few weeks ago, as we welcomed our new MakerCorps members to our team, we were asked a question, “What is your first memory of yourself as a maker?” I instantly remembered myself discovering cooking. The dish: “Hot Dogs ala Katie”. It was fancy (plated on lettuce, of course) but unfortunately far before Instagram existed, so I didn’t know I should be photographing my food. Therefore, no
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Art All Night

Each year local Pittsburgh artists take over a large warehouse space and put their work on display for an entire night; from sundown till sun-up. The Pittsburgh art scene is amazing. Events like this are a great way for people to get acquainted with local artists and their art. There were paintings, drawings, sculptures. There was also live music and large community projects for people to add to. There was even an ar
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Learning to Sew

When I was little, I had a giant stuffed toy named Gumby. Gumby was big–bigger than I was!–and green. He was a character from a show I watched on TV, which was made with stop motion animation. Gumby was fun to jump on, because he was squishy and soft, so my little brother and I jumped on him a lot. After a while, Gumby started to look a little lumpy and worn out. I wished I could make him look new, but I
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Pop-Pop Boats

Pop-pop boats, so named for the popping sound they make as they travel, are a great way to experiment with a steam powered contraption at home. These toy boats have been made by children around the world for over a hundred years — starting back when steam powered real oceangoing ships. Many plans and how-to videos exist on the internet, but here are a few which move from simple to complex. These involve cutting
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Dovetails

Dovetails are a traditional way to attach two pieces of wood without the need for fasteners like nails or screws. Below, John Bullar of the UK presents a short video where he cuts dovetail joints using hand tools. As a professional custom furniture builder, his skill makes the process look very easy. The tools, however, are simple and easily available. A chisel, mallet, and saw are all that are required. A great tric
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